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Browns, Texans weigh in on 'Hard Knocks'

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The Cleveland Browns aren't the only NFL squad being considered for this summer's installment of Hard Knocks.

Texans owner Bob McNair said Monday that his team is also a candidate for the HBO series, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

"It's something we're considering, but I haven't decided," McNair said at the NFL Annual Meeting. "It's a distraction, but it's something people like to see. Our first responsibility is to do everything we can to win on the field. So the question is, what impact does that have on you?"

McClain points out that Texans coach Bill O'Brien isn't in favor of doing the series, but NFL rules dictate that a handful of teams can be forced into starring on the show. The Texans fall into that category, as do the Browns, Buccaneers, Giants, Jaguars, Rams, Redskins, Titans and Vikings. If nobody volunteers, these clubs can be strong-armed into participating, per league rules, because they 1) do not have a first-year coach; 2) have not been to the playoffs in the past two seasons; and 3) have not appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years.

After Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News reported Sunday that Cleveland looms as the front-runner to be featured, Browns general manager Ray Farmer on Monday confirmed that the team has met with producers each of the last two years. Farmer told a handful of local reporters that no decision has been made, but Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer quoted the general manager as saying that quarterback Johnny Manziel's status "should be taken into consideration" by NFL Films.

Manziel remains in recovery after entering a treatment center before the Super Bowl. Placing him in front of HBO's cameras is something the Browns might view as a tangible distraction for a player hoping to make an on-field and off-the-field comeback.

Still, the Browns sit out there as a juicy combination of drama, controversy and decades-long heartbreak for the documentarian's eye to feast upon. HBO wouldn't need to look hard for subplots and meaty story lines.

Then again, there's always Q-ratings-fireball Brian Hoyer down in Houston.

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